Cherokee County, Georgia
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Next Meeting October 14th, at 10:00 am

The William G. Long Senior Center
223 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, Georgia 30188
All are welcome.

VE Testing will be held at 2pm at the William G. Long Senior Center..

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October 4, 2014 - Canton, GA

The Cherokee County ARES EOC Team is shown working the 2014 Amateur Radio Emergency Service Nationwide S.E.T. (Simulated Emergency Test) from inside the Cherokee County Emergency Operations Center at the Public Safety Building in Canton, GA. Emergency Coordinator Bob Johnston KK4LAC (Middle right) covers the VHF Command Net while Gary Klein KK4HCG NCS for the main VHF net takes the photo. Chris Smith KK4IDA (Middle left) covers the UHF Deployment Net. Jacob Smith N3IR (far left) mans the HF station and acts as liaison from Cherokee County to the Georgia Section Net and the GEMA State Operations Center. Stephen Price KK4YQV (far right) is busy assigning operators to cover critical locations that will need communications during a disaster operation - Shelters, Fire Stations, Department of Health, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Service stations and Logistics operations.

In all, 32 operators in Cherokee County Participated in the SET covering liaison communications between state and metro Atlanta ARES nets and relocating to 27 different critical infrastructure locations within the County. Amateur operators used voice and digital communications to send messages and provide tactical communications between shelter locations, city and county operations centers, Northside Hospital Cherokee, and state emergency operations.

Below the mobile station of Aaron Milton KK4LOV as seen atop Pine Log Mountain in NW Cherokee County. Aaron was responsible for contacting all neighboring County nets to provide inter-county communications between Cherokee and neighboring county ARES groups in NW Georgia. This year's final scores are not in yet, but in the 2013 SET Cherokee County ARES was the highest scoring county in Georgia. Georgia placed second behind Alabama in total points across all states participating in the exercise.

Cherokee County ARES Sponsors NWS Training and Graduates one of the Region's LARGEST Skywarn Storm Spotter Classes

87 new storm spotters are now trained and available to report severe weather in Cherokee County, Georgia. On Saturday, April 10, 2014, 49 Cherokee County CERT members and 38 Cherokee County ARES members gathered at the Heritage Presbyterian Church Fellowship hall in Acworth to listen to Science and Operations Officer Steven Nelson from the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City, GA. Steve, a highly experienced and respected NWS meteorologist, forecaster, and weather scientist taught a room packed full of eager students about weather safety, weather patterns, regional weather history, development of severe weather conditions, and proper spotter reporting methods.

Captured video and photos from Professional Storm Chasers in the field showed students how weather builds, develops, expands and then release its fury in the form of severe thunderstorms, destructive hail, deadly tornadoes and damaging straight line winds. More importantly students learned what to look for and how to provide effective "ground truth" to National Weather Service forecasters that helps them validate what millions of dollars of radar and weather detection technology is telling them back at the Peachtree City location of the National Weather Service.

Having an effective network of Storm Spotters is a huge benefit to forecasters who are trusting technology and their advanced training to help them "see" what's going on from many miles away, but need real time information provided by trained spotters in the area where weather is occurring to confirm what radar can't see - what's happening on the ground and in your neighborhoods. "Radar can tell us what 'should' be there" said Nelson, "but storm spotters confirm what we see is correct and give us an idea of exactly what's happening below the radar."

Students left with a much better understanding of how challenging it can be for NWS forecasters to provide the public with just the right information at the right time when severe weather warnings are essential to saving lives.

For more information about "Storm Spotting" you can read more in the Weather Spotters Field Guide. A follow up presentation about how the Amateur Radio Emergency Service is organized to collect spotter information and communicate it directly to the NWS will be presented by Skywarn Coordinator and Cherokee ARES Emergency Coordinator Bob Johnston, during the June 14th regular meeting of the Cherokee County Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

The following link, is an outstanding Public Safety video that describes "The Interoperability Continuum" which (in layman's terms) is a plan to improve communications or "a path to achieving optimum interoperability by broadening relationships". "Knowing who the players are around you" is a mission critical statement and to quote from the video, "The reality is, the most important ingredient in interoperability is relationships". "Relationships count and mean something". As a side note, our own Cherokee ARES members, Randy Kerr, KD4KHO, is in this video at 12:06 and 12:35 with great comments.

Examples of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina (i.e. "we need 150 helicopters, we only have 4"), floods, forest fires, etc. are discussed. Communications issues are discussed and what the IC plan does to improve and overcome issues, BEFORE a disaster happens.

This video, while describing Public Safety planning, etc., is a model for what ARES should be about. We should be a "fluid" organization, that knows our neighbors, i.e. City, County, State (and surrounding) ham operators, repeater owners, ARES members, CERT members, EMA Directors, Newspaper Editors, etc., and build strong professional quality relationships with these folks. We have similar paths to the video such as Training and Exercises through weekly/monthly nets and meetings, to identify what went well, and what needs improvement, which is exactly what the upcoming October 1st, Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is all about.

Recent past events like the hurricane and tornado in Ringgold and elsewhere, provide many additional opportunities for "lessons learned". As stated before, the emergency for communications should not become the on scene disaster. As hams, "When All Else Fails, Ham Radio" gets the message through.

I would urge each of you to view this video and key in on "relationships", and even show this at your next monthly ham meeting. Working together with served agencies for parades, bike rides, air shows, etc. provide a huge visible relationship of how we as hams can help. If Public Safety realizes they need to "put aside egos, politics, and economics", because "we are dealing with people's lives", then so should ARES. Let's work together to be as active and faithful to check in on nets, support each other countywide, statewide and beyond. We have a great ARES group in Georgia, complimented with excellent ARES leadership. Are we prepared to be the best we can be? As school as started, it is approaching report card time (the SET) and time to grade ourselves.

Thanks for all you do, your time, effort, and money buying equipment, maintaining repeaters, and sharing one of the best hobbies around.

Jim Millsap
DEC-Metro Atlanta

2009 Field Day coverage by CBS Atlanta WGCL46.


WB4NWS - 145.430 (-) PL 107.2 Mt Oglethorpe

Backup Repeaters
First: KG4VUB - 145.270 (-) PL 100 Pine Log Mtn. Waleska
Second:  WA4EOC - 443.075 (+) PL 107.2 Pine Log Mtn. Waleska


Printable version of frequencies for Cherokee County ARES use available HERE.
Full ICS-217 list is HERE. - Updated 3/18/2014


Weekly ARES Training Nets are every Monday at 8pm on the 145.430 Repeater. 443.075 will also be monitored.


The Cherokee Amateur Radio Emergency Service Group meets with the Cherokee Amateur Radio Society at 10am, second Saturday of each month.

Our meetings are held at the The William G. Long Senior Center in Woodstock, GA
223 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, Georgia 30188

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Additional information on meetings will be announced on the nets and on this website.
Talk-in is on any of the above listed repeaters.

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